Freestone peaches (I used New Havens; I think it was a 6 quart basket)
½ pint (250ml) jars (I used lucky 13)
Lids and screw tops
No strict measurements in this recipe. Since peaches are acidic, they are in and of themselves safe for water bath canning. Makes it simple!
Directions for canning:
- Make sure you have plenty of ice or very cold water. Wash your jars in hot soapy water and rinse well. I didn't bother to pre-sterilize them because I’ll be processing them in boiling water for more than 10 minutes.
- Rinse peaches well, and take a sharp paring knife and cut an X into each peach. (I do it with tomatoes so it makes sense for peaches.)
- Put a good-size pot of water on to boil. Put ice and/or very cold water in a large bowl or your clean sink.
- Working with about a half-dozen or peaches at a time, put them in the boiling water for about a minute, then remove them to the ice bath.
- Once they've cooled, their skins will slip off quite easily, especially if you've given them a starting place with that X.
- Slice the naked peaches and put them into a bowl with water and lemon juice (about 1 T lemon juice per gallon of water).
- Prepare your syrup by heating sugar in water until sugar is dissolved. It’s your choice of how sweet to make it. You can also use plain water or juice. See below for suggestions.
- Remove peaches from their lemon-water bath. Strain them well. I was clever and put them in a strainer in the lemony bowl. Verrah easy for draining! Add them to the pot with syrup and heat them through.
- Heat water in a small pot and put your snap lids in there. They don't have to come to a boil. It's just to soften them a smidge to help them seal.
- Pack peaches into each jar and top with hot syrup. Leave about 1/2 inch head space.
- As always, "bubble" each jar with a skewer or chopstick to release any trapped air. Wipe each rim with a clean damp paper towel. Place a heated snap lid down and screw the ring on finger tip tight.
- Put the jars into your water bath canner. Make sure there is at least an inch of water above the top of your jars. Put the pot lid on and return to the boil for 20 minutes. Don't start your timer until the water is boiling.
Ta da! Gorgeous, summery peaches you can enjoy all through the winter.